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THE RETROSPECT OF 1877.
Few years have dealt more gently with men of distinction, both in Church and State, than the year which is now closed; but though it has scarcely removed any from the very foremost rank, still there are a few whose departure cannot but be chronicled. Naming first those who stood first in ecclesiastical position, we have to mention Bishop Powys, of Sodor and Man, whose energetic incumbency of the important Rectory of Warrington is not yet forgotten, though his promotion to his bishopric took place so long ago as 1854; and Bishop Trower, who was firstly Bishop of Glasgow, and then for a time Bishop of Gibraltar. The year has actually made no gap whatever in the number of those of our bishops who either are, or may become, Peers of Parliament; and the only loss among our deans has been that of Dean Williams, of Llandaff, who has been succeeded by Archdeacon Blosse. The roll of archdeacons, however, has lost (1) Archdeacon Thorp, years ago so familiar a name and face to all Cambridge men as Tutor of Trinity, and the first president of the Cambridge Camden Society. It is now more than thirty years (we think it was in 1844) that he resigned his tutorship, since which time he resided upon his living, Kemerton, near Tewkesbury, to which he had been presented in 1839 by the then Bishop (Monk) of Gloucester and Bristol. archdeaconry he resigned in 1873. (2) The Venerable William Waring, Archdeacon of Ludlow since 1851, and Canon Residentiary of Hereford since 1867, a genial and kindly and somewhat scholarly clergyman of a school which entered but little into the controversies of recent times; and (3), and within a few days of our writing, Oxford and Christ Church have lost one of their most notable links with past days in Archdeacon Clerke, Archdeacon of Oxford since the year 1830, Canon of Christ Church since 1845, and whom Bishop Wilberforce continued in the office of examining chaplain which he had filled under Bishop Bagot during the exciting days of the early Tractarian movement.
After these we must name Sir Henry Williams Baker, Vicar of Monkland, near Leominster, so widely known in connexion with 'Hymns Ancient and Modern,' and some of whose original hymns, of extraordinary beauty, first appeared in the latest edition of that popular hymnal; Mr. Lysons, the well-known antiquary, Rector of Rodmarton, Cirencester, since 1833, and Hon. Canon of Gloucester, one of the many men of our day who have shown what the too-muchabused squarson' may both be and do.
It would, however, be a great omission were we to pass over the
decease, after years of failing health, accompanied nevertheless with unfailing work and industry, of Miss Anne Mackenzie, one of those who have well won high place among the women of Christianity. At the age of 41, after living the ordinary life of a Scottish lady of somewhat feeble health, she accompanied, in 1854, her youngest brother to Natal, sharing his labours and devoting herself specially to the education of the colonists' children, so that she was called his 'white sister,' though she gained much experience of work among the blacks -i.e. Kafirs.
When he became Missionary Bishop she again followed him, but only to learn that he had died of fever on his way to meet her. Returning home broken in health and apparently broken in heart, her true work sprang up out of devotion to his memory, and then rose to a noble height. Out of her endeavour to support the Kafir Mission in Natal, came first her 'Memoirs of Henrietta Robertson,' then that valuable magazine-the one thoroughly successful and popular missionary periodical which the Church of England has known-the Net,' with its immense agency for supplying the minor needs of Missions, and lastly, the foundation of a Bishopric in Zululand. Her great sympathy, her shrewd sense, her unfailing enthusiasm and power of interesting others, are all the more remarkable, inasmuch as she was an incessant sufferer who never knew a day of perfect health. She was certainly one of the foremost in promoting home agencies for the advancement of foreign Missions.
Of other names of wide interest we must specify particularly that of Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, who forty years ago was one of the founders of the first Training School for Schoolmasters in the country --that, namely, at Battersea, soon after taken up by the National Society-who was the inventor of the pupil-teacher system, who was for many years the (first) secretary to the Committee of Council on Education, and whose name is, perhaps, specially familiar in connexion with the long and fierce Management Clauses controversy. The same year which has removed Sir James has also taken away another worker in the cause of education-we refer to Miss Mary Carpenter, famous for her work in Reformatory Schools; and also Mrs. Caroline Chisholm, the promoter of female emigration.
From widely different spheres of literary celebrity we have lost Mr. Samuel Warren, once famous as a novelist, and Mr. Walter Bagehot, second to few in his line as a statist. Two genuine centenarians have departed-Lady Smith, of Lowestoft; and Mrs. Bagster, of Old Windsor.
Abroad the losses have been more striking. France has lost her aged M. Thiers, who had contributed so much to the making of her history alike in writing-some would say inventing-that of the first Napoleon, and also by his own actions, whether in opposition or in office as an administrator. She has lost also M. Lanfrey, the historian; Le Verrier, her distinguished astronomer, who disputed the priority of discovery of the planet Neptune with the then young Cambridge Senior Wrangler Mr. Adams; two men of military fame, General Changarnier, first of Algerian, then of Parisian notoriety;
and Aurelle de Paladines, one of the very few who made more reputation than he lost in the dark days of the Franco-German War. Prussia has lost her aged General Wrangel, and the Old Catholics their Bishop Ketteler; Italy her Cardinal Patrizzi; America her historian, Mr. Motley; and, to come back again nearer home, the Roman Hierarchy in Ireland has lost its one really large-minded member, Dr. Moriarty, Bishop of Kerry-the one Roman Catholic Bishop who thoroughly appreciated the equity of the present English rule in Ireland, and was not afraid to say so.
Probably there has been no year since 1850 which opened with so many anxious forebodings on the part of English Churchmen as the now ended 1877. The appeal in the Ridsdale case was about to be heard, and there was the possibility of the judgment resulting in a dangerous collision between many of the most influential of the clergy and the civil executive. Mr. Pelham Dale had been deprived. Mr. Tooth had been condemned. No one knew what was coming next.
At such a time it was cheering to see that the spiritual work of the Church was in no way abated. Little public notice was taken of it, but work was being carried on which, had it only been a few years back, would have been in everybody's mouth. We refer especially to those missions which were taking place throughout the country, which, whether for their numbers, or for the scale upon which they were carried out, or for their success, were altogether unprecedented. Those at Manchester, Chester, and Clifton deserve especial commemoration. At Manchester, the Mother Church of the diocese was, as it ought to be, the centre of all, and the opposition which preceded it served only to bring out into the more prominence the inflexible resolution of the Dean, and to emphasise still further the success of the undertaking.
On January 22 Mr. A. Tooth, who on the 13th had been pronounced 'contumacious and in contempt' for ignoring the inhibition of Lord Penzance, was imprisoned in Horsemonger-lane Gaol, and there were many churches, and those with not the least influential congregations, where the prayers of the Church were desired for 'Arthur Tooth now in prison for conscience sake.' On February 17 came his release, brought about by no submission on his part, but by the feeling in high quarters of the absurdly incongruous spectacle of a personally blameless clergyman subjected to an imprisonment even less considerate than in the case of a first-class misdemeanant.
In the course of March a memorial to the Primate and the Bishops generally, signed by about eighty leading clergy, and headed by the Dean of S. Paul's, reciting the peculiarities of the existing situation, and pointing out that the true remedy lay in appeal to the Living Voice of the Church,' was drawn up and presented to His Grace on the 27th.
On May 12, the decision in the Ridsdale case was given, of which the less need be said here, because of the very full discussion of it
which was given in our number of last July. It may, however, be added that, while it condemned the use of the 'vestments,' the majority of those churches in which they were used still continue to use them, without, up to the year's end, any one attempting to apply this decision to their case. Mr. Ridsdale avoided further collision by obeying his Diocesan's wishes as regards the ritual of S. Peter's, Folkestone. But though Mr. Ridsdale acted with this moderation, there were others who took a different course. On May 30, about two hundred clergy met at the Westminster Palace Hotel, under Mr. T. T. Carter's presidency, and resolved to disregard the judgment on the grounds of its being 'contrary to the plain meaning of the Prayer Book.' Later on, July 2, Mr. Mackonochie held a meeting at the Freemasons' Hall of those who, like himself, regarded a final breach with the State as the only remedy for existing complications. At this meeting Archdeacon Denison was a prominent speaker. And on June 29 the Court of Queen's Bench decided that the proceedings under the Public Worship Regulation Act, under which Mr. Pelham Dale had been deprived, were null and void ab initio, so that he must be reinstated in his benefice, and the costs incurred fall back on those who were responsible for the suit. And so things stood at the close of the season of 1877.
Meantime, the Parliamentary proceedings as to matters connected with the Church had not been very numerous, though far from unimportant. An insidious attempt was made to get the small end of the wedge in with a view to the ultimate legalisation of the marriage of widowers with their sisters-in-law, by legalising in England such marriages as had been thus contracted in the colonies, and though opposed by Government a majority of 192 to 141 was snatched on February 28 in the Commons, but the Bill proceeded no further.
On March 13, the Duke of Richmond introduced the Government Burials Bill, which we fully discuss in the present number, and which, after a vigorous effort to carry it, was withdrawn on June 21. During the Whitsun recess, a memorial against the Dissenters' attack on our burial-grounds was signed by more than fourteen thousand clergy; certainly the most numerously-signed memorial which has ever proceeded from the English clergy on any subject or any occasion.
The withdrawal of Mr. Cross's Bill for the creation of new sees was no doubt a serious misfortune, but it may have its compensations in the further ripening of public opinion on the subject. During the Session and in the recess important public meetings have been held in the districts affected by the proposed Bill, as e.g. Nottingham, Halifax, and Wakefield, where the keenest interest was evinced--a fact of special importance, considering that it is something new for manufacturing centres to show such marks of Church life, and to be so anxious for the honour of becoming See towns. There seems no doubt that the needful funds will soon be raised, so that ere long we shall have six new dioceses-certainly the greatest step in Church extension since the Reformation-and these in no way provided by the State, but only permitted by it, and, like our original endowments, the fruit of voluntary zeal. By the bequest of a private
gentleman, the late Mr. T. Headley, the endowment for a separate see for Northumberland is already virtually secured. The people of Bristol, too, are moving for the restoration of their ancient diocese, towards which the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol is ready to surrender 500l. a year, and a considerable sum has already been promised in the neighbourhood. A movement is also beginning for the subdivision of the huge Diocese of London. The assistance rendered by the Additional Curates' Society to the increase of the Home Episcopate ought to be cordially acknowledged; and Mr. Ingram notifies the encouraging fact that within nine months a total of nearly 100,000l. has been offered for this purpose.
The later portion of the year has been marked first by a most numerously attended Church Congress (the seventeenth) held at Croydon, with the Primate as chairman, and next by the largest number of Diocesan Conferences ever held. In fact, there are now but few dioceses which have failed to organise themselves in this manner, among which number, strange to say, the diocese of London is one, and one of the next most important dioceses in England, that of Durham, is another. Then, in November (the 19th) a decision was given by the Queen's Bench that Lord Penzance's Court at Lambeth, for contempt of which Mr. A. Tooth had been sent to prison, had really no jurisdiction; so that here again, as in Mr. Dale's case, the proceedings were null and void ab initio, and so the second adventure under the Public Worship Regulation Act issued in a fiasco, and Mr. Tooth remained in possession of the ground. Whether future proceedings will succeed better remains to be seen.
The year 1877 has, as we have already stated, seen no vacancies in English sees, excepting that of Sodor and Man, to which Mr. Rowley Hill was appointed, and whose consecration took place in York Minster on August 24. But the year has seen two new dioceses added to the Church-that of Truro, to which Dr. Benson was consecrated at S. Paul's Cathedral, on May 25; and that of S. Alban's, to which, Bishop Claughton being translated (he was enthroned in S. Alban's Abbey, June 12), Canon Thorold was appointed, and consecrated in Westminster Abbey, July 25. On S. Thomas' Day three Bishops were consecrated in Westminster Abbey-Dr. Trollope, Archdeacon of Stow since 1866, as Suffragan of Nottingham, in the room of Bishop Mackenzie, who has resigned after seven years' service; Dr. V. Trench, as Bishop of Lahore; and Dr. Titcomb, as Bishop of Rangoon; the former a missionary clergyman of experience, the latter a well-known and respected clergyman of the diocese of Winchester, of whom we can only say that we wish he were young enough to give hope of longer service in his new sphere.
It yet remains to add a word upon the subject which in 1876 caused such bitter controversy, but on which during 1877 so little has been said—we mean the matter of education. No one will expect us to lament the extinction of the Birmingham Education League, which took place on March 28, but we must record the loss of Canon Fry, of Leicester, who had been the successful trainer of many a valuable teacher before training colleges were thought of. For the